Question about hardware expectations

Dear Haiku community,

Some years ago I found a pc next to the rubbish container while talking the dog for a walk. It was a Windows XP machine that I happily turned into a Haiku machine. It has a Pentium 4 at 1.4 GHz and 2 GB RAM.

The system works great, but I do not know if it will be powerful enough to keep everything running fine (i.e., update after update). The reason is that when I enter YouTube with WebPositive, I can watch videos, but the system seems to be under heavy load and audio and video get interleaved. I thought that it was because WebPositive is still under development and with aspects to polish. However, a friend of mine installed Haiku in an Intel Core 2 Duo machine, with 4GB RAM and that same test runs flawlessly. Thus, I think that my machine might not be powerful enough for Haiku, especially after it gets new capabilities. In other words, I fear that I will not be able to do that kind of tasks (e.g., watch YouTube videos) even after finishing the development of WebPositive. What do you think?

Thank you in advance for your help. Kind regards.

Haiku currently does not support hardware rendering, meaning graphics are processed by your CPU instead of a dedicated graphics card. This means things like streaming audio/video and rendering 3d graphics can be stressful Haiku. There is a app called UberTuber in HaikuDepot which will download and play videos from YouTube (among other sites, such as Vimeo and SoundCloud.), which should allow you to watch YouTube on your machine. UberTuber is a little buggy, however, and it will sometimes say a download has failed when it has still been downloaded. Searching for the name of your video in tracker should come up with your video. As for internet browsing you can download QupZilla, which should provide a smoother experience than WebPositive.

Dear Undoified,

First of all, thank you for your answer: UberTuber is great, and so are the other browsers available in HaikuDepot. However, do not get me wrong. My concern comes from the fact that I thought that WebPositive performed worse than it really does in better machines (through that particular use case of watching YouTube videos). Then, I have started to fear that my machine might not be able to run common tasks in spite of the Haiku’s goal of being lightweight. My PC does not have dedicated GPU, so graphic cards support should not affect me.

In fact, I have to admit that my question is somewhat difficult to understand. Thus, I’ll try to summarize it as follows: “If I see performance problems in my Haiku machine that other people do not experience with better hardware (ignoring GPU’s), are they likely to persist in the future? Or the development to-do list still has room for performance improvements.”

Thank you again for your time and kind regards :wink:

Hello. Another video player with very good Youtube support is QMPlay2. You can search, view and download youtube videos within it.

Regarding your question, I guess that there are room for improvement in the browser’s performance. However, since some years ago, browsing became more and more hardware demanding, thanks to bloated and poor designed websites.

In that context, I think using a Pentium 4 for browsing will became very dificult, not matter what operative system do you use. Just my opinion :slight_smile:

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Alternatively, you can download youtube-dl, a nifty command line tool for downloading videos and optionally re-encode them with ffmpeg

You can install it using the package manager pkgman in the Terminal

Ok, this the main answer that I was looking for

Nevertheless, I have also learnt several commands and tools that I did not know (“youtube-dl”, “QMPlay2”…). Thank you very much for your answers @Undoified, @un_spacyar, @TheClue.

Kind regards.

1.4 GHz is not bad, but the biggest problem of that CPU is the fact that it’s single-core. Any modern operating system runs many programs in parallel, which means the CPU needs to switch between each task (multi-tasking) and there’s too much stress for one core to handle. That Core 2 Duo does video playback better because the CPU is dual-core and maybe even has Hyper-Threading.

The conclusion is: whatever you do on that P4, make sure you don’t have too many programs running at the same time. A browser does many other things in the background, compared to a media player, which is why it’s usually better to watch videos with a player instead of a browser on a single-core CPU.

In Linux, we have SMTube and MiniTube to play YouTube videos with a media player instead of a regular browser. It would be nice if these apps would be ported to Haiku, especially to compensate for the lack of graphics acceleration on older PCs - but everyone would benefit from this, of course.

P.S. I’ll have to try QMPlay2 - it looks capable of YouTube browsing and it could be a nice alternative that works right away.

Dear kneekoo,

This is really true:

The idea of dedicated software tools such as SMTube and MiniTube sounds really well. I have QMPlay2 installed, but until now I had just used it as a regular player. I will check what you say: "


Thank you very much for your detailed answer. Kind regards.

No problem

It just asks for Qt5 (qmake) + qt5 webwidgets , which means a shitton of dependencies.

On the good side: porting is trivial, just unzip and run make (like 5 mins or less).
On the bad side: takes time to load like… some noticeable time, this just renders a website to load the video list (you can see the page on the screenshot) which may be against the low hardware requirement as premise.

Also… you already had smtube v17.5.0 ported in the depot (for x86 arch), just wanted to check if its current code (v18.9.0) was portable “as is”.

Kind of a necro, but:

It’s important to make a distinction between the requirements of Operating System (OS) and those of User Applications, and of course the combination thereof.

A machine that is capable of running the OS might not be able to run all (or even any) user applications well. The minimum stated system requirements for Windows XP were a 233-Mhz Pentium processor and 64 MB of ram… In practice that machine would provide a poor experience even something as old as Windows XP for any real usage.

While true, it does also depend on what you are using it for.

If for a personal desktop then your most likely not. However for a fileserver those specifications would be perfectly adaquate.